African Americans’ Buying Power Will Reach $1.2 Trillion Dollars by 2013


According to a comprehensive BET survey of the African American community that was recently released, African Americans in 2008 experienced a 10 percent increase in population from 2008 compared to 2000, while African American buying power increased more than 55 percent during the same period to $913 billion. By the year 2013 black buying power will reach $1.2 trillion dollars, a 35 percent increase versus 2008.

The “African Americans Revealed” study of more than 80,000 African American consumers on multimedia engagement and digital applications, shows African Americans are very tech savvy, with roughly 31 percent of African American discretionary spending dollars, or $39 billion, going toward the purchase of computers, cell phones and electronics — a proportionally higher percentage when compared to other races.

African Americans:

  • Spend more weekly time online (18 hours) than watching television (15 hours)
  • 93 percent go online traditionally via their PCs, while 76 percent access the Web via their cell phones
  • 60 percent have downloaded music, a TV show, movie or ringtone in the previous month
  • 50 percent regularly update and access a social networking account

The included segmentation study revealed that African Americans are not a monolithic group, but rather break down into seven distinct groups defined by similar characteristics, including buying power and habits, media consumption and influences:

  • The Strivers are mostly in their late 20s to early 40s and are adventurous, fashionable, social mavens and opinion leaders who have their eyes on climbing the executive ladder
  • Conscious Sisters are selfless women that are spiritually connected and highly conscious of their culture
  • Tech-Fluentials are digitally savvy and travel in globally conscious circles
  • Bright Horizons are young adults in high school and college that are aware of all available technology and electronic gadgets
  • Inner Circle Elites are working women rich in their cultural, ancestral and spiritual roots
  • Urban Dreamers are young, urban adults who are social magnets and trend setters intent on and focused on living life to the fullest
  • Survivors are a group of risk-taking teen and young adult males who are hustling to keep their existence in check

A 2010 Census study in “African Americans Revealed,” predicts that the upcoming Census count will find that 42 million African Americans reside in the U.S., a 13.4 percent increase from the 2000 Census — a higher growth rate than the projected 9.8 percent increase for the total U.S. population.

Matthew Barnhill, senior VP of corporate research at BET Networks, says “African Americans Revealed shows us that the black community should never be referred to as one homogeneous population. … We hope this report will help organizations better connect with an audience and intimately recognize all of its complexities.”

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